Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0490
2020-04-14

Evaluation of Ecosystem for Design Assessment and Verification by the Formula and BAJA SAE Teams at the Oregon Institute of Technology 2020-01-0490

This paper summarizes the outcome of an evaluation by the Formula and BAJA Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) student design teams from the Oregon Institute of Technology of the Ecosystem for Design Assessment and Verification. The Ecosystem is a design decision support tool whose main goal is to identify design oversights early in the design process, guide designers through the design process, and foster high-quality design practices. The Ecosystem offers many features attractive to Formula and BAJA student design teams. It is capable of capturing and archiving design work, including the rationale for design decisions, and making searchable. It enables new design teams to rapidly get up-to-speed, and helps with knowledge transfer. In the case of Formula or BAJA SAE, the Ecosystem allows the design teams to quickly acquaint themselves with the work left behind by previous student teams, such as the opportunities for improvement identified.
A primary observation from the paper pertains to the importance of helping student design teams adapt the Ecosystem to their file archives. In addition to receiving the Ecosystem software, the students need support in order to effectively use the Ecosystem in conjunction with the existing file archives. In case of a BAJA student design team from Oregon Tech in Wilsonville, a new team with no legacy archives, we have found it effective to sit down with Secretary of the team, in order to educate the Secretary on how the Ecosystem can help document the design and building of the car, so that future teams can learn about the process that went into the design decisions made. Similarly, in case of Formula and BAJA student design teams from Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, we intend to sit down with the Vice Presidents of the teams, for same purpose. We are helping the teams better organize their design repositories and access through the Ecosystem. While students welcome the pre-populated checklist for the technical inspection, along with facilities for part management and planning for manufacturing, we have come to recognize the importance of providing good support, for the students to effectively use the Ecosystem. Providing good support from year to year is important, since the teams’s composition, and familiarity with the Ecosystem, may change significantly between years.

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